Home' My Ballarat : September 2010 Contents City of Ballarat Community Magazine September 2010
Major conservation works for Eureka Flag
One of the most significant icons of the Eureka Rebellion, the Eureka
Flag, is to undergo major conservation treatment to ensure its long-term
The Eureka Flag will be transported to Adelaide where extensive repair and
restoration work will be undertaken by Artlab Australia, one of the nation's
leading textile conservation specialists.
Council has received a permit from Heritage Victoria to undertake the
restoration which is expected to take six months to complete.
After extensive review and consultation, Council commissioned Artlab Australia
to undertake a full assessment of the condition of the Eureka Flag.
The report from Artlab Australia described the flag as 'arguably the most
important historical textile in Australia', and an 'irreplaceable piece of
European Australian history'.
It also determined that extensive work was needed to stabilise the flag, to
ensure its long term preservation and to improve its appearance.
The key works will involve the replacement of the old backing cloth with
state of the art materials that are less prone to deterioration, replacement
of the timber backing board and the construction of a new, purpose-built,
climate controlled display case for the flag is also recommended.
The proposed treatment will ensure the longevity of the flag and substantially
improve its visual appearance when on display.
Ballarat Mayor Cr Judy Verlin said Council takes its role as custodian of the
Eureka Flag seriously.
"The Eureka Flag is one of the nation's most important historical icons, it's
a national treasure. The flag is more than 150 years old and it's extremely
fragile. Expert analysis has determined that steps must be undertaken to
preserve it," Mayor Verlin said.
"As the iconic symbol of democracy in Australia, we are absolutely committed
to the Eureka Flag's long-term preservation for future generations."
The last significant restoration work on the Eureka Flag was completed
in 1973 and conservation techniques have advanced considerably since
The Eureka Flag was flown by the diggers at the Eureka Stockade on 3
December 1854. Legend has it that following the short but bloody battle
at the Stockade the Eureka Flag was souvenired by Trooper J King. In 1895
Trooper King's widow agreed to lend the flag to the Ballarat Fine Art Gallery.
The Eureka Flag was placed on permanent display in the 1970s and was
gifted to the Gallery by the King family in 2001.
The cost of the restoration work will be met by City of Ballarat and the
National Museum of Australia in Canberra.
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